The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers opened up their Section 2A Team competition last Thursday night at home, cruising to a big 55-15 win over Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial.
The Bucs, seeded No. 2 in the section, had little trouble with the No.7 seeded LCWM Knights.
BEA then advanced to the Section 2A semifinals. That match was Saturday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. against the No. 3-seeded Eagles, of Maple River. The Eagles defeated the No. 6-seeded USC Rebels last Thursday.
BEA’s Rylee McGuire works for a pin against LCWM’s Tristan Jones in their 145-pound match during the Section 2A Tournament quarterfinals held in Blue Earth last Thursday night.
The Buccaneer-Eagles semifinal match was set to be held at the United South Central High School gym. It will be followed immediately on Saturday by the Section 2A championship match, and the winner will head to the State Tournament.
Kenyon-Wanamingo is the No. 1 seed in the Section.
On Thursday, the Bucs waited patiently to face the winners of the night's first match between LCWM and No. 10 seed St. Clair/Mankato Loyola.
The Buccaneers struck first against the Knights, when Davis Sunken scored a 13-0 major decision over Trayton Hewitt of LCWM at 106 pounds.
BEA's 4-0 lead did not last long, however.
The Bucs' Caleb Beeler was pinned by the Knights' Tyler Ash at 113 pounds, and Caden Ochsendorf lost an 8-2 decision to Caleb Clobes at 113 and BEA trailed 9-4.
The maroon and gold responded with a string of six wins in a row, taking a commanding 34-9 lead.
Joe Schavey started it off with an 18-5 major decision over Blaine Zernechel at 126 pounds. At 132, Jaxen Klinkner scored a fall over Brenden Jones, Dalton Nagel won by forfeit at 138, Rylee McGuire pinned Tristan Jones at 145, Cole Klinkner defeated Avery Northquest by a score of 9-4 at 152 and Zach Buseman won by a 16-0 technical fall at 160.
In a battle at 170 pounds, LCWM's Jeremiah Colon pinned BEA's Wyatt Tungland.
That made the score 39-15 in favor of the Bucs. And, it was the last points the Knights would get in the match.
Jesus Quintero pinned Matthew Thofson at 182 pounds just 1:38 into the match. Jared Armon pinned Garrett Gilman at 195, avenging an earlier in the season loss to the LCWM Knight.
At 220 pounds, Jordan Huse scored an 8-4 decision over Blake Stenzel, and at 285, BEA's Trevor Oppedal won by forfeit.
"Once again, this was a good team effort," Buc coach Randy Wirtjes said after the match. "Everybody contributed to the win."
The coach pointed to key early wins by Sunken, Jaxen Klinkner and Schavey.
"I?think Jesus (Quintero's) win at 182 was also real big," the coach added. "It sealed the win. But this was a real nice job by everyone."
Now, though, the Buc mentor was already thinking about Saturday.
"We take on Maple River in the first match," Wirtjes said. "And hopefully we are then in the next match."
That would be for the Section Championship and a trip to the State Wrestling Meet.